I won it from somewhere- It arrived in the mail with no explanation, so I'm going to assume it was from GooI LOVE THIS BOOK. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOOOOOOVE.
I won it from somewhere- It arrived in the mail with no explanation, so I'm going to assume it was from Goodreads, and if so I thank you, and also, you need to remedy the vagueness so we the winners of this amazing book, can thank whomever made it possible.
You know when you read a story, and even though you are nothing like the characters, you can relate to them and you GET them, without ever having been in their shoes? This is how I felt about Carson and Aisha.
I'm not going to do the summary thing, because this story is truly complex and it would be like, 8 pages long and still not even get close to what the book actually means, and you can get that from the 6 million other reviews... but all I'm going to say is this:
The Porcupine of Truth is the best YA road trip book I've ever read. There is so much story, and so many things that happen, and every one they encounter, and every action they take has meaning to the story. If you liked Paper Towns, then this is about 8 billion times better, more interesting, and funnier. Margo can kiss it.
This book is super funny. And it's sad. And it's deep and religious, without being preachy. It's about friendship, and family and acceptance and love.
Madeline Whittier is the girl in the bubble. She’s allergic to everything. Madeline’s been sick for as long as she can remember, forced to live insideMadeline Whittier is the girl in the bubble. She’s allergic to everything. Madeline’s been sick for as long as she can remember, forced to live inside her home with purified air, white walls and little contact with anyone but her beloved nurse Carla, and her mother. She’s resigned to live vicariously through characters in her books, and through the few friends she has online. She’s never really wanted, expected, or thought about more.
Until a moving truck pulls into the driveway of the house next door, bringing a dysfunctional family and the curious boy Olly, who changes Everything, Everything in Madeline’s life.
Meeting Olly transforms the tiny, perfect world Maddy lives in. Like the scene in the Wizard of Oz, where once everything was just black and white, or in Maddy’s case, white, everything turns vibrant and colorful. Where she once felt nothing, she now feels everything. She’s never questioned the outside world; it’s just a part of life that doesn’t exist to her. Until Olly arrives, she’s perfectly content with the life of school work, and Friday Night French dinners, Phonetic Scrabble and Pictionary with her mom. But when she meets Olly, he opens up the possibilities of more, of being able to touch another human and live a normal life with normal teenage experiences, including friendship and eventually love.
When Maddy decides she's had enough of the white, sterile world she lives in and she wants to actually live IN the outside world, that's when the real story begins.
QUOTE: "Not that I begrudge my life in books. All I know about the world I’ve learned from them. but a description of a tree is not a tree, and a thousand paper kisses will never equal the feel of Olly's lips against mine."
This was one of my most anticipated books of the year, partially because of the buzz and the stellar reviews it was garnering, but also because I'm a huge fan of the movie Bubble Boy, and Everything Everything is exactly what this reminded me of. Yes, it has its clichés, and yet, it still remains smart, laugh out loud funny at times (the bundt cake chapters are awesome), and extremely heartbreaking at just the right moments. And it's beautifully written.
As a bonus, Maddy is Half African American, and half Japanese, (beautiful visual, right?) which is a first in my YA readership experience, and hopefully not the last. Bonus Bonus: Interspersed with text, Maddy treats the reader to various charts, drawings, poetry, texts, emails, and little snippets of important papers which help us see into her life.
I absolutely adored this book, the fabulous twist it takes, the evolution of Madeline into Maddy, all the relationships Maddy has, as well as that the text is not focused heavily on medial facts, but gives just enough information to be realistic. And Olly, how I loved Olly and everything everything about him.
DNF at 75%. I can't waiting for something to happen, and while the writing was very good, the storyline was just the land and uneventful. And after LeDNF at 75%. I can't waiting for something to happen, and while the writing was very good, the storyline was just the land and uneventful. And after Lee's actions with the kitchen guy, I really just disliked her too much to finish....more
The concept had so much promise, but ultimately fell flat for me halfway through, and with the lack of action and multiple points of view, I3.5 stars
The concept had so much promise, but ultimately fell flat for me halfway through, and with the lack of action and multiple points of view, I found myself disconnected. I will pick it back up again, because it had me intrigued enough to want to know what happens in the end....more
I'm 53% done and in giving it a solid 5 star review. I haven't been this captivated and enamored with a book in a long time. It's difficult to believeI'm 53% done and in giving it a solid 5 star review. I haven't been this captivated and enamored with a book in a long time. It's difficult to believe this is all true because it is the perfect coming of age comedy a la Diary of a Wimpy Kid but with teens.
That being said, I love josh. I want teenage me to be asked by teenage Josh to hang out sometime. I would have said yes. And I would have kissed him first ;)...more
There was something about this book I was immediately drawn to. I'd read the synopsis and love the small town and thReview from FicWishes.Blogspot.com
There was something about this book I was immediately drawn to. I'd read the synopsis and love the small town and the idea of the battered old hotel, and then saw the cover reveal and I was in love. I just knew it was a book I needed to have. I tried to get arcs but was denied and so I preordered, waiting patiently. And I waited. And waited. You know when you have these high expectations for a book and it doesn't live up to them? Well this surpassed my expectations.
Sky Evans is a real girl with big dreams in a small town where no one goes anywhere. Her father is dead, and her mom is a high school drop out/ recovering alcoholic, who is a total mess. Sky plays the parent to her on more than one occasion, getting two jobs to pay the bills and considering the idea of throwing her full scholarship to art school away so that she can take care of her mom who is failing her.
Then there's Josh. He is.... Well he's a mess too, but suffering from PTSD and from surviving a IED bomb that took his leg, and dealing with the disappointment that comes with returning home not necessarily a hero, but a lost, wounded soldier with guilt and remorse, learning to accept and like the person he is now.
The book tells the story of a girl in a pitifully poor town, desperate to get out, and the boy she falls in love with who got out and was forced to come back home. Nothing particularly exciting happens, yet it's a book you won't be able to put down. The writing is gorgeous and real and I can't say enough about it. Sky and Josh are two of the most real characters I've ever read. Josh was so flawed. He was kind of a bully. Kind of a jerk. He drank a lot and slept with most of the girls in their tiny town, but he had that charisma that drew people to him. And sky was... Smart, scared, cautious and so very selfless and brave. An absolutely lovely character. I adored them both.
One of my favorite parts of this book was Josh's pov- deeply moving, one page diary entries to his deceased best friend who he feels responsible for. The other, was Skylar's collages- these beautifully descriptive paper images of her bleak world. I loved Dylan and Chris, Sky's best friends and their close relationship. I even liked Blake, Josh's younger brother and brief fling of Sky's, who was sweet and well meaning. And I have to mention Marge, the hotel owner and only real parent Sky has, because of the wonderful person she is, and the relationship she has with Josh and her own personal circumstances. So touching.
I loved that there was foul language and descriptive, realistic, sex scenes and it didn't ever seem dumbed down to be appropriate for YA, as some books often appear.
This story is about real love, messy, imperfect difficult love. It's about loss, acceptance and bravery all rolled into one. I absolutely could not put it down. One of the best books I've read in a long time.
I should note that the author publicly stated that this is a tribute to her father's experiences as a veteran and that she is donating some of the profits to the Wounded Warriors program. I just love that. And also, as a special promotion for Valentine's Day, she sent a few people a handwritten letter from Josh to Sky. I can not explain how amazing it was to receive that:)...more
Emily Portman and Tyler Macy are both a little bit jaded, a little but cynical and a little bit broken. They meant to be together. It just takes themEmily Portman and Tyler Macy are both a little bit jaded, a little but cynical and a little bit broken. They meant to be together. It just takes them time and a few stubborn moments to figure that out.
When former ballet dancer, Emily, relocates to Austin as Breakout! Magazine’s talent scout, she moves into a building where the hot guy with the eyebrow piercing doing renovations not only lives in the building on the floor below, but keeps her up all night banging on his drums.
But her exhaustion doesn’t disturb her groove entirely. Because when she gets her assignment, a three piece rock band with a filthy name, she’s never been so excited to cover a band. And then this happens:
"Hey, you don't happen to know the asshole who plays his drums at all ungodly hours of the night, do you? I haven't slept more than three hours at a time the past few days with the incessant beats rattling my door." I hope he senses my sarcasm, but Tyler’s smile falls, and he stiffens.
He taps the envelopes against his right palm before he answers. "Yeah I know him. I'll tell him you filed a complaint. " His tone is short and clipped, his demeanor changing in an instant. "I gotta go.” With that, he turns around and walks away. Which is when I see the drumsticks in his back pocket.
My mom always said I had foot – in – mouth disease, but sometimes it isn't funny. It makes me look like a *bitch. Embarrassment floods my body, and I drop my chin to my chest when the realization hits me that I just made my first enemy in Texas. Since the elevator still hasn't been fixed, I opt for taking the stairs instead, just in case it breaks and Tyler leaves me there to die.
Working and living so closely, the two of them develop a kind of love hate thing, more hate than anything, trying to get under each other’s skin. But as time goes on, Tyler, or Mace as he prefers to be called, opens up and lets her in. And then something happens: Emily inspires Mace in extraordinary ways, letting the music literally flow from his mind to her body.
I loved the addition of the original lyrics woven through the text, as well as Tyler’s journal entries. They are short and sweet, but never lacking enough depth that you get a glimpse into Tyler’s mind and heart. The two of them had so much chemistry. There’s a long minute of silence before he leans back and drums his fingers on the lacquered table top. “What gives you the impression that I smoked?”
“The suckers. My dad chewed gum. I know a smoker with a new habit on his hands. You fidget too.” I lift my hand and hover above my crown. “The hair thing.”
He’s staring at me like I might be full of shit but I’m right and he knows it. "I quit a few months ago. It was an unhealthy coping mechanism that I've replaced with Blow Pops, but it keeps my hands busy and satisfies my cravings."
“That sounds like you heard that from a therapist, but I’ll take it. Would it be too personal to ask what the coping was for?” “Do you need to know that for your article? Or are you nosy?” “My job is to be nosy. Want to talk about your family instead? Where you grew up and what age you lost your virginity? Because we could always go that direction.”
He leans back and sighs, leveling me with his gaze. Again, there’s a feeling in my chest that makes me want to take a deep breath, but I breathe slowly through my nose instead. "I went through a bad break up, just like every other guy on the planet."
Maybe is extremely well written, with clever lines and great moments. It’s sexy, funny, and an overall fantastic read.
Full disclosure: I read this a while ago after edits as a prereader. My quotes are from the arc and may have changed. It should be noted that YA is my preference, but I was delighted at how much I loved it then, and coming back to pick quotes has made me want to read it all over again.
When ten year old Lilly is asked to babysit her neighbor Colton, all she sees is a sweet little boy who fascinates her. But after getting electrocutedWhen ten year old Lilly is asked to babysit her neighbor Colton, all she sees is a sweet little boy who fascinates her. But after getting electrocuted (amongst other misadventures) and unintentionally putting Colton in danger, their friendship is abruptly severed...
Until years later, when Colton walks into her high school, and something in Lilly stirs.
Colton is still the extraordinary boy he was when they were little, only now he’s all grown up and Lilly really wants to know him better. After she spots him at a local fair selling his gorgeous paintings, Lilly knows that his talent far exceeds that of anyone she’s ever known. She realizes then, that he’s different, but it doesn't matter to her.
Lilly tries to learn everything she can about Asperger’s, because she knows that if she wants to be friends with him, then she needs to understand what makes him tick. Lilly does whatever it takes to help Colton, who has been sheltered for years, navigate in society amongst fellow highschoolers. And soon, she realizes that falling in love with Colton presents more challenges that any normal teenage relationship can guarantee. She also realizes that he’s worth it. Even when everything falls apart and she's left wondering what it means.
This is the story of two friends reunited, who fall in love despite all the odds against them saying they shouldn’t. It’s honest, clearly well researched, touching, sometimes frustratingly heartbreaking, and beautifully written.
My cousin belongs to an Autism support group for her teenage son, who has high functioning Autism. I gave an early version of this book to her when she was in a dark place- watching all the typical teenagers taking pictures outside before Prom and she was wondering if her son would ever find friendship, or even love. This is the story that gave her hope.
After years of teaching children with high functioning Autism, and Asperger’s Syndrome, I have had students contact me later on in their teen years, regaling me with their accomplishments, their friendships with neurotypical peers, and their successful relationships. It's incredibly heartwarming to learn that everyone can be loved and love in return.
One of the biggest problems with fictional literature that features Autistic characters is that they are often portrayed as disabled and incapable of love or relationships with non-Autistic partners. Amber Lynne Johnson has squashed that stereotype, giving her main character a voice of his own, and a realistic portrayal of what is possible between two people who care for one another despite what outside expectations dictate.
I was enthralled with this book and so genuinely moved. And I am proud of her for facing such a controversial topic and doing it extraordinarily well. ...more
Holy shit this book. It's a true testament to a writer when they can keep you glued to the pages of a book with a character that not only can not relaHoly shit this book. It's a true testament to a writer when they can keep you glued to the pages of a book with a character that not only can not relate to and you don't actually like as a person. This book is a mind fuck and it's brilliantly done. I'm floored. The skill, research and planning that went into this is astounding.
How people are giving this less than 5 stars is mind boggling. Not every story has a happy ending and it's sad that they can't see it for what it is, not for what they'd expected it to be. ...more
Thank to Netgalley for providing the book in exchange for an honest review.
Second Star is a modern retelling of Peter Pan, set in a beach side town wiThank to Netgalley for providing the book in exchange for an honest review.
Second Star is a modern retelling of Peter Pan, set in a beach side town with surfing as a substitute for the original story's flying aspect.
Wendy Darling's younger brother's have gone missing without a trace. When she makes her own attempts to find them, after her parents and the authorities have given up, she finds a cove full of wild surfers - mostly runaways- and a boy named Pete who lives in an abandoned mansion on a cliff, who not only catches her eye, but teaches her how to surf. When she runs into Pete's nemesis, Jas, who is a drug dealing party boy, she can't help but be drawn to him as well, all the while never giving up on the clues that will lead her to her missing brothers. The story focuses on friendship, family, love and a broken girl who is healed by two broken boys vying for her affection.
I loved the modern twists the author made to parallel the original, including the addicting Pixie Dust drug that lures and keeps all the runaways loyal, and Belle, Pete's jealous, tiny ex, and the surfing aspect of this, which I must say is really well done.
The story over all, while not an exact retelling of Peter Pan, was fun, intriguing, and a great spin on a classic. This would be an excellent tool for a high school English lit class to use to compare and contrast the original with the modern retelling. ...more
Ugh this book is so depressing. But it's well written, thought out, and moving. The characters were really interesting and quite layered. There's justUgh this book is so depressing. But it's well written, thought out, and moving. The characters were really interesting and quite layered. There's just this chunk in the middle that is so emotionally draining I had to skip paragraphs because it was really bringing me to a dark place.
What I wanted to happen is at 50% was that she'd wake up at the start of the day she cut school and get a do over. But that wasn't this story line.
The ending had me bawling. So good book, but I wish there had been less sad and more happy....more
Mallory Durhan gets left behind to attend community college while all her friends have gone off to their dream universities. To top it all off, her daMallory Durhan gets left behind to attend community college while all her friends have gone off to their dream universities. To top it all off, her dad is gone, and her mom heads off on a business trip that's supposed to last for months. So, recently divorced and newly unemployed Aunt Sam comes to stay with Mal, offering her a parental figure, a voice of reason, and most of all a friend she didn't know she needed.
Mal reunites with her childhood friend Tucker, who has also been left behind for his own reasons. He invites her to come see his band perform, and something amazing happens. Mal falls in love with not only Tucker, but his music. When their drummer suddenly quits, they are left in a jam, until Mal suggests they go beatless, hence their new name.
My voice felt stronger. "You know what my favorite part of your show is? When the music drops out and it's just you guys singing. It's like my whole body reacts because it's just so awesome. And powerful. I can't describe it, but I can't look away." I'd revealed too much and suddenly felt like an idiot.
"So what are you suggesting?" Tucker leaned in to study my reddened face.
"I dunno. Maybe instead of The Beat you guys should be...Beatless. A cappella or something. Just voices."
So Mal joins the new band. And just when everything is going amazingly, Mallory screws up royally, destroying it all. When she auditions for the student directed/ written musical, she discovers that Tucker is the one running the show. And subsequently ruining her life.
This book... where do I start?
I'll be honest. The author is one of my best friends, and my fantastic critique partner. I had the honor of being a prereader for this book. But my opinion is in no way biased.
I am always, always reading a book. While Amber was sending me chapters, Beatless gave me these amazing feelings. So much that when I was reading it, I'd get sucked into the world she built and the character's emotions. When I'd finish the chapter, give her my feedback, and return to the novel I was reading, the novel would seem unbelievably subpar to Beatless. I didn't want to read more of the novel. I wanted more Beatless. More Mal and Sam and Tucker. But at the time, it didn't exist.
There are moments in the book that are sheer brilliance. Moments when I said to myself, "Amber wrote a book, AND an original play, AND song lyrics...and it's all amazing. I should quit life right now."
Aunt Sam's letters made me cry. Her despair and acceptance was so blaringly evident and painful to watch once you realize what is happening. As the book progresses, her words of advice slowly become words of wisdom. I'm so glad that Sam was able to spend her days with someone who mattered to her, because she made such an impact on Mallory.
Mal's loneliness made me feel like I was right there, experiencing heartbreak and pain with her. You want to reach out and shake the girl, and hug her at the same time. Unfortunately, sometimes people need to learn and grow from their mistakes and insecurities. And Tucker...never before did I want to punch a character in the face so hard it would knock some sense into him. She loves you! Stop being a jackass, boy!!
Beatless is an honest, beautiful, moving story about two women at vastly different points in their lives, experiencing the same loneliness from different perspectives, and coming together when they needed one another the most. This book will lift your spirits, break your heart, and make you believe in the power of second chances.